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UN Aid Chief Appeals For Logistical Support As Tsunami Relief Supplies Stack Up

The United Nations Humanitarian chief says the biggest challenge in helping victims of last Sunday's tsunami is distributing supplies.

Jan Egeland says there is a struggle to deliver the food, water and medical supplies that are now pouring into south Asian countries. Mr. Egeland appealed for helicopters and ships to, in his words, "race against the clock" in delivering aid to remote areas.

He says the death toll from the tsunami is likely to exceed 150,000. Health officials fear diseases such as cholera and typhoid could double that number.

Large quantities of supplies are stacking up at regional airports, because roads, bridges and airstrips in the hardest hit areas have been badly damaged. Fuel shortages have also hampered distribution.

The U.S. military began delivering aid to villages on Indonesia's hard-hit island of Sumatra. There, hungry and homeless villagers mobbed helicopters carrying supplies.

Nearly 100 aftershocks have hit the region following Sunday's quake, but none have produced a tsunami.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.